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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Saturday, September 12th 2020

Match Preview: Coventry City (H)

Fasten your seatbelts for the return of the Sky Bet Championship this weekend.

Get the lowdown on Bristol City v Coventry City with today's match preview brought you in partnership with MansionBet...

Just 52 days will be the difference between the 2019/20 finale against Preston North End and the 2020/21 curtain raiser against Coventry City on Saturday. In the blink of an eye, the new league season is upon us and it’s one full of excitement for Dean Holden’s Bristol City.

His appointment in August continues a four-year association with the Robins; Holden having cemented himself as a hardworking, passionate and respected individual in his previous role as Assistant Head Coach.

He is now working alongside experienced heads in Paul Simpson and Keith Downing – both assistant head coaches themselves - as City look to build the perfect blend of experience and expertise to help take the club to the next level.

Holden has been quick to act in the transfer window too – not easy in the current climate- welcoming five signings in Joe Williams (Wigan Athletic) Chris Brunt (free), Chris Martin (free), Alfie Mawson (loan, Fulham), Steven Sessegnon (loan, Fulham), with their arrivals brining more Premier League and Championship experience to the group.

 

And their eyes are set on Championship newcomers Coventry City this Saturday (September 12th), who visit Ashton Gate for the 3pm kick-off. The fixture will be the first between these two clubs since April 2015 (a 0-0 draw in BS3 which crowned City League One title winners) and the Sky Blues’ first match in the second tier since 2012.

Mark Robins’ side re-join the Championship after being crowned League One champions themselves, when the third tier was curtailed due to the impact of Covid-19 last term. But their form had been somewhat spectacular with only three league defeats up to March, with a little help from City midfielder Liam Walsh. He spent the 19/20 season on loan with the Midlands outfit, where he received a hat-trick of end-of-season awards: Goal of the Season, Young Player of the Year and Players' Player of the Year.

He was, therefore, a stand-out performer but striker Matt Godden will be looking to build on last season’s good form. The former Ebbsfleet, Stevenage and Peterborough United forward ended his Coventry debut campaign with 15 goals in all competitions (14 in the league) to earn his spot in the PFA’s 2019/20 League One Team of the Year, so he will no doubt be keen to prove himself in the Championship too.

With regards form, of course both head into the game off the back of mini pre-seasons and respective wins in the first round of the Carabao Cup. For Holden’s men, it was a 2-0 home victory over Exeter City, while Coventry overcame MK Dons 1-0 in the northern side of the draw through Tyler Walker’s late goal.

But Saturday presents a new challenge for the League One champions and likewise for the Robins, with Holden aiming to continue a 100% winning start to life as City head coach.

Injury update: Callum O’Dowda, Liam Walsh and Joe Williams will all miss the Coventry City game although they are "moving in the right direction," Dean Holden has confirmed. Defender Nathan Baker is the only long-term absentee.

Match details

Where: Ashton Gate Stadium
When: Saturday, September 12th, 3pm KO
Competition: Sky Bet Championship

Referee: John Brooks
Assistants: Nick Greenhalgh and Akil Howson
Fourth official: Adam Crysell

The Carabao Cup kickstarted a new season last weekend

Down Memory Lane

Bristol City 0-0 Coventry City
Ashton Gate Stadium
Saturday, April 18th 2015
Sky Bet League One

This 0-0 draw with Coventry City ensured City would end the season top of the table, even with two games to spare, and players, staff and supporters alike could look forward to Championship football going forward.

City had already secured automatic promotion, following their thumping 6-0 win away to Bradford just four days earlier.

As a result, there was little surprise in then-manager Steve Cotterill naming an unchanged side for the visit of Coventry to Ashton Gate.

Match action and full-time pitch invasion

 

It was the visitors who were first to threaten an opener as Frank Nouble collected the ball on the left touchline, before space opened up for the striker to drive forward and take aim with a 30-yard shot just over Frank Fielding’s crossbar.

But it would not take long for City’s set-piece prowess to cause problems for the Sky Blues.

First, Marlon Pack sent a deep delivery in towards Aden Flint, who had peeled away around the back of his marker and tried to hook the ball back across goal only to see it blocked behind for another corner.

This time from the right, Luke Freeman trotted across and should have had another assist to his name as Derrick Williams sent a free header over the crossbar from six yards.

There was not quite the same zip about City in comparison to ruthless manner in which Bradford were dispatched four days ago – perhaps understandably so.

The hosts were still determined to press high up the pitch with plenty of energy in and out of possession, typified by Kieran Agard closing down Reda Johnson, whose blocked clearance might have caught out keeper Lee Burge on another day.

But there were also examples of those in red being fractionally slow to reach their targets, as Pack and Joe Bryan both joined Nouble in the book inside the opening 25 minutes.

Coventry were presented with a decent chance to break the deadlock when Nick Proschwitz picked out Jim O’Brien with time and space on the edge of the box, but the skipper skied his shot from 18 yards.

Fielding would be tested ten minutes before the interval when John Fleck pulled the trigger with a sweetly struck volley from 25 yards, forcing the City number one into a diving save away to his left before Adam Barton’s follow-up was blocked by Williams.

The visitors were visibly growing in belief on a ground where City have only been beaten twice in league action all season.

Grant Ward embarked on a driving run from midfield culminating in a left-footed shot from distance which just did not curl enough to beat Fielding down to his right.

City had not been themselves but might easily have gone in at the break in front courtesy of a goal in first-half stoppage time, as Johnson flew into a risky tackle from behind on Agard in the box but was adjudged to have won the ball by referee David Coote, who signalled only a corner, much to Cotterill’s bemusement.

Aaron Wilbraham looked set to score from Freeman’s ensuing delivery regardless, but steered his header wide from no more than six yards with the sort of chance he has gobbled up all season.

City would enjoy more of the play deeper into Coventry territory in the second half, but creating chances remained difficult.

James Tavernier saw a tame effort blocked before Agard spun and shot wide from eight yards.

The Sky Blues were sensing an opportunity to spoil the party. Proschwitz did not miss the top corner by much from a 30-yard free kick before a similar chance arose ten yards closer – this time driven into the wall by the German striker.

City were not exactly piling on the pressure, but a tremendous run from Agard starting deep inside his own half carried him all the way to the byeline at the other end, where he turned to pick out Freeman, who rather snatched at the chance on his right foot and pulled it wide.

Proschwitz briefly had City hearts in mouths five minutes from time in trying to catch out Fielding with an ambitious lob, but the keeper backpedalled to make a fairly routine save, while substitute Sanmi Odelusi raced away from Flint before the defender recovered to take the sting out of the shot.

Proschwitz came close again in stoppage time, but City had the point they needed.

Those post-match scenes, Saturday April 18th 2015

Head to head*

Bristol City v Coventry City

Played: 66
City won: 22 (22%)
Drew: 22
City lost: 22

Bristol City goals: 2
Coventry City goals: 1

Top goalscorers
Bristol City: Paterson, Semenyo (1)
Coventry City: Walker (1)

Bristol City most assists: Jack Hunt (2)
Coventry City assists: N/A

Bristol City Clean sheets: 1
Coventry City clean sheets: 1

Final league positions (2019/20)
Bristol City: 12th, Championship
Coventry City: 1st, League One

*All competitions unless stated

The two sides last met on April 18th 2015
Assist king: Jack Hunt v Exeter last weekend

Robins TV

With matches still being played behind closed doors, remember to purchase your Robins TV £10 matchday pass so you can enjoy every step of the action as Bristol City take on Coventry City this Saturday (September 12th) at Ashton Gate.

Join us from 2:30pm on Saturday as we countdown to kick-off with all the behind-the-scenes build-up, exclusive interviews and expert analysis of City’s opening game of the 2020/21 league campaign.

City got their competitive season off a to a flying start with a 2-0 Carabao Cup Round One win over Exeter City. This weekend they begin their Sky Bet Championship campaign in the curtain raiser against newly-promoted Coventry.

Following the new licensing agreement between the EFL and our broadcast partners all Sky Bet Championship games not selected for television broadcast are available to buy on Robins TV for just £10 per game.

BUY YOUR COVENTRY CITY VIDEO PACKAGE NOW

As part of the new EFL regulations you can now watch Robins TV direct via the web on desktop, mobile, laptop and tablet, plus of course on the official Bristol City app which contains all the latest news and information from the club.

Read more...

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